In 2015, we saw a revamp of the Modern Slavery Act to ensure that large corporations were doing everything they could to ensure that was prevented. Procurement and Supply Chain had a vast role in ensuring that this happened.
Companies had to supply a statement proving they had adhered to the rules and although there was no set template for what to include, CIPS provided some points to stick to as follows:
1. An outline of an organisation’s structure, business and supply chains
2. Policies and due diligence in relation to slavery and human trafficking.
3. An identification of parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking, and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk.
4. An assessment of its effectiveness in ensuring slavery and trafficking are not taking place in its business or supply chains measured against performance indicators it considers appropriate.
5. Information about training concerning slavery and human trafficking that’s available to staff.
Although, from a moral reasoning standpoint, every company should be doing their utmost to ensure modern slavery is not rife within our world, the criteria stipulated as to which organisations must comply; any organisation turning over more than £36 million.
So in theory, all companies should now be compliant to the above and Modern Slavery should slowly start to be eradicated. Not only have some companies failed to release a statement (and by some we mean one third of British Organisations according to a recent report released by the Chamber of Commerce) there have been little repercussions for not doing so. The survey also showed that one in ten UK supply chain managers found evidence of modern slavery in their supply chains following uptake of the Modern Slavery Act of 2015.
According to a recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, one in ten UK supply chain managers has found evidence of modern slavery in their supply chains since the MSA came into force. The survey also revealed that, of those required to complete a statement, a third of British companies have not, while almost two thirds of foreign companies have failed to comply.
A further study by Core auditing showed that of the ‘big 50’ brands, 5 had not even been seen to file a statement. And what reprimand was there? None…
Introducing The Modern Slavery (Transparency in Supply Chains) Bill 2017
Following the reports and the findings of the reports, an adaptation was made to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 with the 2017 Bill. This bill aims to provide more clarity around what exactly organisations should include to increase transparency in their supply chain in relation to Modern Slavery. It also states that adequate reasoning and justification must be provided should an organisation fail to publicly submit their statement.
Failure to adhere to these rules could lead to hefty fines and potential negative PR for your organisation so it’s crucial to you know the rules and adapt/ change accordingly.
The bill itself can be found here, however if you need some guidance in how your supply chain can adapt, drop us a line.